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SDLP joy as Richie McPhillips reclaims seat in Fermanagh South Tyrone

Published 07/05/2016

Richie McPhillips of the SDLP celebrates being elected in the constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Richie McPhillips of the SDLP celebrates being elected in the constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone

There were tears of joy in Fermanagh South Tyrone this afternoon as the SDLP's Richie McPhillips reclaimed the seat that his party lost to Sinn Fein in 2011.

While making his declaration speech in Omagh Leisure Centre, Mr McPhillips accused Sinn Fein of deploying "dirty tactics" during the election campaign.

Afterwards, Mr McPhillips spoke of "acts" being carried out against him "and members of my family" over the last number of months.

"The fact of the matter is there were people that discredited me, slandered my name. The fact is I know who they are, the community know who they are," he said, adding: "I will address these at a later stage."

Sinn Fein's John Feely failed to retain a third seat for his party while Sean Lynch, who was a sitting Assembly Member for the area, held on to his seat following the nail-biting final round.

Rosemary Barton of the Ulster Unionist Party secured the seat formerly held by her running mate Alastair Patterson, who was eliminated last night, and current Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Tom Elliott.

Overall the numbers for her party took a dip across the constituency and have been overshadowed by the success of DUP leader Arlene Foster who topped the poll yesterday with almost 9000 votes, followed by her running mate Maurice Morrow.

"It has been a tremendous election and I feel very energised by the fact the people have put their trust in us," Mrs Foster told Press Association.

:: Elected:

Arlene Foster, DUP.

Maurice Morrow, DUP.

Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Fein.

Rosemary Barton, UUP.

Sean Lynch, Sinn Fein.

Richie McPhilips, SDLP.

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